Pan-Seared Asparagus Over Wild Mushroom Risotto

Photos by Jaymi Heimbuch

This recipe was created exclusively to pair with the 2008 ReVera by our featured winemaker, AmByth Estate. The Rhône blend is 52% Mourvèdre, 30% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 3% Counoise. The nose is heavy with ripe black fruit and it's a tad gamey as most Mourvèdres are. On the palette, it's a complex mix of ripe fruit, herbs and pepper with a lively tannic finish. It's bold, but without being obnoxious.

While this wine demands a hearty and savory food to stand by, it's really asparagus season that fueled this recipe. It's finally here! And with its lightly bitter and citrus flavors, it holds up nicely to the wine's more peppery notes, while the mushrooms compliment its more herbaceous side. But don't be afraid to experiment further. How about a smoked Gouda sauce instead of Gruyere? Or topping it with some arugula? There are lots of possibilities for adding your own personality to this recipe.

Risotto


2 cups Arborio rice

8 cups vegetable broth

2 cups dry white wine

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 shallot, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup mushrooms (oyster, cremini, porcini, or chantrelles), diced

1/2 cup grated gruyere cheese
1 bunch of fresh asparagus, trimmed
1 lemon for zesting

Olive oil

Unsalted butter


1. In a large pan, heat two tablespoons of olive oil and add the rice.

2. Once the rice is property coated, heat it for two minutes.

3. Add in two cups of broth and bring to a boil.

4. Reduce to a simmer.

5. Let the broth cook down.

6. Repeat above step but alternate between one cup white wine and two cups of broth.

Photos by Jaymi Heimbuch

7. In a second pan briefly cook the onion, garlic, shallot and mushrooms.

8. Add the above mixture and the remaining broth to the rice.

9. When the risotto begins to thicken, add the Gruyere cheese.

10. Remove from heat when the rice is slightly al dente.

Pan-Seared Asparagus

Photos by Jaymi Heimbuch

Pan-searing asparagus can be a bit tricky because asparagus is tricky. The vegetable is cantankerous and is easily over-cooked. Don't let this frustrate you. The mishap is usually caused from differences in freshness and thickness. Before tossing the whole bunch into a hot skillet (and ruining it), I suggest you try 1 or 2 shoots individually first.

1. In a large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on a very high heat.

2. Add the asparagus.

3. Cook for 5 minutes or until tender.

Finish the dish with a touch of lemon zest and some finishing salt. Alternatively, truffle oil would also be a nice touch.

Photos by Jaymi Heimbuch

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Tags: Cooking | Green Wine Guide | Recipes | Vegetarian